13 Apr 2019

Stewart Island oyster farmers get $2.4m compensation

1:32 pm on 13 April 2019

Biosecurity New Zealand has paid out $2.4 million to Stewart Island oyster farmers whose shellfish were destroyed in attempts to contain an invasive parasite.

Oysters pulled up from Big Glory Bay.

Oysters pulled up from Big Glory Bay. Photo: RNZ / Lydia Anderson

In some places overseas, bonamia - which was found in Stewart Island waters in 2017 - has reduced oyster populations by 90 percent.

To stop it threatening the Bluff oyster industry, Stewart Island shellfish were pulled up and destroyed in their millions.

Biosecurity New Zealand's head of pest management, John Sanson, said 31 claims were made, but has not said how many were accepted.

Routine testing for the parasite has continued, but it has not been found since the first positive test.

However, the movement of shellfish, marine farm equipment and boats in and out of Stewart Island is still subject to control.

Get the RNZ app

for ad-free news and current affairs